The Pentagon will remove four batteries of PAC-3 Patriot missiles from three Middle-Eastern countries, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The US newspaper said Jordan and Bahrain will lose one battery of US long-range anti-aircraft missiles next month, while Kuwait will part with two.

The missile defense systems are not meant to be replaced, so the withdrawal would permanently reduce the defensive capabilities of the three Muslim nations.

The systems are already off-line and are being prepared to be moved. The missiles are needed elsewhere to counter China and Russia?

The MIM-104 Patriot is the US counterpart to the Russian S-300 and S-400 systems. Currently in its PAC-3 version, the long-range air-defense system is used to defend strategic locations from enemy aircraft and missiles.

Ironically, the US move was announced just as Russia decided to supply the S-300 system to the Syrian government, after the downing of a Russian Il-20 plane.

Washington regularly uses the deployment of advanced weapon systems to allied nations as a bargaining chip, where those countries wish to boost their defenses.

For instance, in early 2013, the USA, Germany and the Netherlands deployed their Patriot batteries to Turkey, as Ankara complained about a threat posed by the Western supported war in neighboring Syria.

As Turkey’s relations with its American and European allies soured over the years, the initial arms providers pulled out their assets, with Spain and Italy stepping in.

The falling-out was also reflected in Turkey’s decision to purchase the Russian S-400 system rather than one produced by a NATO member, despite objections from Washington. / ABC Flash Point Defense News 2018.

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